Block Haters

The Christian that turns their nose up to other Christians that are not in their opinion saved enough or saved at all are not being godly or spiritual, but they are in fact being worldly (ungodly).

Whether you turn your nose up in private or prideful in public, God still sees the direction in which it’s in.
Good relationships are hard to come by and keep when your heart is rooted and grounded in prideful, judgmental hate.

If this is you, do everyone a favor and start loving yourself so that you may love others and God.

1 John 4:19-21
 We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

Post shared via Relationship Stuff

What Love is All About

When you see someone doing something differently from the way you would do it, how do you respond? Do you try to “help” them by offering your advice? What about with your close family? Do you try to correct them when you know of a better way or disagree with their methods?

Oftentimes, we don’t even realize we are doing this because we genuinely care about the people in our lives and want to offer them the wisdom that we’ve learned over the years. Unfortunately, more often than not, that unsolicited advice actually drives a wedge in relationships. I see this all the time between husbands and wives, parents and children, and even close friends. Most people already know the areas they need to work on. They don’t need to have someone point out their shortcomings.

When you set out to “fix” someone, what you’re really saying is “you’re not good enough the way you are, so I am going to fix you.” But that’s not what they need. What people need is to know that they are loved unconditionally. They need to know they are approved and accepted even when they miss the mark on occasion. People want to know that they can count on your love and support no matter what happens. If you find that you are correcting or “teaching” someone in every conversation, you probably need to adjust your approach so that you don’t miss the true riches of the relationship.

The truth is we’ve all been guilty of trying to fix, teach or correct someone else. My own mother used to tell me, “If I could open up your head and pour my knowledge into it, I would.” But she couldn’t, and neither can I for my children or anyone else…and neither can you! Our job on this earth is not to fix everyone but to love and support them and give them the grace to grow.

Today, I encourage you to evaluate how you approach your relationships. Begin by acknowledging the good in the people in your life. Tell them how proud you are of them and how they bring joy to your heart. Use your words to strengthen others and deposit life into them. Give people room to grow because empowering others is what love is all about.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins(1 Peter 4:8, NIV).

6 Biblical Lessons on Relationships

After 35 years in ministry and 30 years of marriage to Serita Jakes, Bishop T.D. Jakes has outlined key life lessons learned from these two great institutions.

The following are 6 sample “Lessons from the Heart”  excerpted from “The T.D. Jakes Relationship Bible: Life Lessons on Relationships from the Inspired Word of God.”

1. Overcoming Our Differences in Relationships.
The art of relationships requires that a man who is very different from his woman finds common ground with her and vice versa. We are meant to balance each other by attracting people whose strengths may be our weaknesses. Together as a result of our differences and unique distinctions, we complement each other. Understanding only comes when you stand under a real desire to know, love, and comprehend the other person, embracing the uniqueness of who they are.
2. Healthy Relationships Require Emotional and Spiritual Freedom.
You often won’t know what you have, let alone need, in your life until you clear the mental and emotional room to experience the here and now. We don’t have to stay buried under the past or cycles of mistakes, even though it may seem insurmountable. You can move on with your life. You have to keep your mental and emotional house clean and in order. Praying, journaling, mediation, and exercise are common ways for you to be sure your emotional issues of the past aren’t seeping into your current relationships.
3. It Takes Courage to Really Love Someone.
Deciding to love gets harder as you get older. It’s more and more difficult to fall in love because your “faller” gets broken. We’ve all had relationships that didn’t work out for one reason or another. The loss of a relationship can be a traumatic experience and can affect us in our lives for months and sometimes for years. You need to understand what role you played in the relationship’s demise, and work to come to peace with your partner’s behavior as well as your own. No matter what has happened to you, the only hope of a healthy future relationship is to let go of the past.
4. Healthy Compromise in Relationships.
Negotiating win-win possibilities in relationships often means seeing things through the eyes of the others involved in the situation or problem. In most cases of healthy compromise, both parties feel they are “right.” Healthy compromise is the hallmark of healthy relationships. The Lord’s peace often results when each side comes close to His viewpoint, His perfect plan for both parties. We cannot remain so entrenched in our view that we cannot change or adapt, and we must know when not to compromise too far.
5. Safeguarding Your Relationships.
In order to maximize your life and relationships, you have to minimize your load. You must focus on what’s important when it comes to your relationships. Lightening your load means knowing when to release things. Most of don’t realize that the key to release ourselves is within our own hands. You can move ahead and conserve your strength for things that count, things you can change, things you can control. Have the wisdom to see the importance of giving you all to your relationships today!
6. Evaluate Who You Are.
When you see yourself as valuable enough to deserve love and attention from the other person, you form a boundary that you will not compromise. A little self-esteem goes a long way in garnering the courage to ask and answer questions that reveal who you really are and what you really want. Once you look realistically at who you really are and what you desire in a healthy relationship, you are ready to enter into the research that will lead to sound decisions.

Painting The World With Ugliness…

Have you ever asked yourself  what are you doing to make the world better, to increase even one person’s happiness, to help one homeless person?

Most of us never even think about this fact, we walk around consumed in our own thoughts and lives so much so that we never see the terrible environment all around us. We see people being killed, being bullied, being lonely all because we don’t feel it’s worth our time to lend a hand, or even to look and open our eyes to the hurt and pain all around us.

We live in a world of no sense of society, no sense of responsibility, no sense of helping each other, people commit suicide simply because they are lonely and have no one to turn to.

Instead of painting the world with ugliness each and every single second, why dont we all try. If you have the chance to change someone’s life, why dont you take it?

Why dont we start painting the world with love, hope and  a rainbow of happiness??
Post courtesy of The World We Live In

Show Up

“The brothers there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these men Paul thanked God and was encouraged.” Acts 28:15 

Friends in trouble need us to show up. It is OK not to know what to say. Your presence speaks volumes. Just showing up many times causes people to thank God and to be encouraged. They thank God because they see God in you. They see His care. They see His concern. They see His love. They see His compassion. Because Jesus lives in you, you are grace personified to a suffering saint.

However, to meet a friend in faith at their point of need may require some inconvenience on your part. To encourage them in their misfortune may mean you have to rearrange your schedule and say no to something important but not necessary. Investments in people take time and sometimes sacrifice. People care can be messy.

Cancer can be cruel. But when a friend is under its curse, then we can be there to bless.

Do not worry about what to say—just show up. Speak very little and when you do, ask sincere questions. Appropriate questions may be, “How can I help?” Or, “How can I pray for you and your family?” Or, a tender, “How do you feel?” No sermonizing or stories of people who suffered similar plights are edifying.
Yes, weave in a prayer and soothing Scripture during your time, but do all with sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading. Just showing up is the best medicine. Do not be concerned about your own feelings of inadequacies or sadness. Keep the focus on Christ and “loving on” your friend in need. You are God’s deliverer of grace and kindness. “I do not do hospitals” is no excuse. Jesus said that hanging out with the sick was equivalent to ministering to Him. It is a journey with Jesus, on behalf of Jesus and to Jesus when you care for the hurting.

God may be calling you to travel a long distance to encourage a friend in the faith. Maybe the need is to travel overseas to a land and people ravished by poverty and disease. There may be Christians on the ground serving on foreign soil that need for you to show up. They do not need you to provide answers or pontificate about the plight of the people. What they need are loving leaders who will show up and who will serve under the leadership of the nationals at their point of perceived and real needs.

Moreover, prison is the sentence of some. There are currently Christians who are incarcerated for their faith. They need our encouragement and prayers. Pray that we who are free of jail can feel the pain of those who are locked up for Jesus. Public expression of faith is not to be taken for granted. Millions of believers around the globe cannot proclaim or discuss Christ publicly, yet the church is thriving in some of these faith confining environments. When you show up there, be careful—you will be changed forever. The faith of the West looks fragile and fatigued compared to those saints’ whose faith that has been galvanized by persecution.

So, show up—not just for the encouragement of the friend in need but for your own edification. You will go to be a blessing and in turn will receive much more of a blessing. This is how God works many times. The sufferers become the encouragers. Your gratitude to God explodes because of the faith and hope you witness in others suffering “mega” trials and tribulations. Show up to help others so that you, in turn, can be helped. We are a family of faith. We all need each other, especially in times like these!

Taken from Dose 47 in the 90-day devotional book, Infusion.

Love, Compassion and The Golden Rule

My little cousin is full of questions and very few answers will satisfy her. It makes for interesting conversation, to say the least, but she came up with a tough one the other day.
She was recounting some kids in her class who had different opinions than her’s, and we said that she should love them any way. You know, a kind of turn-the-other-cheek thing. Then she asked:
“How do I love people I don’t know?”
Now, there’s a stumper.
It’s easy to love family or people who are kind to us, but loving the stranger on the street or the annoying neighbor is altogether different.
If life teaches us anything, it’s that exchanging hate for hate gets you nowhere. I think the key to it all is compassion. No matter who it is, I try to imagine life in their shoes and how I would want to be treated. I don’t know about you, but I need forgiveness when I’m wrong. I need patience when I’m being stubborn. And most of all, when I’m acting unlovable, that’s when I need love the most. It makes sense that I would then show those virtues to others. It’s the golden rule: Do to others what you would want done to you.
Compassion can include a host of different things: bringing people food, asking how they are and genuinely listening for an answer, or even a simple smile. There’s no shortage of ways to love a stranger.
My little cousin’s mother summed it up nicely. “Just be nice to them.”
What do you do to show compassion everyday? How do you love people you don’t know?